It's been awhile!
The usual thing is happening where I think of all these things I want to write on my blog in my head at various times but never actually do it. Whenever I have down time when the kids are asleep or playing with Eric or whatever when I could blog I'm usually reading or scrolling through Reddit eating peanut butter cups in bed and can't be bothered to sit upright at a computer. This mom of 3 thing is pretty exhausting and just intense and I feel like I have nothing left to give once the kids are in bed. Like I can be a mom of 3, and do it, and love it, and do a pretty good job (interspersed with moments of losing my temper and self doubt and crying because I'm the worst mom ever). But then I just have nothing left to be a wife, friend, daughter, sister, aunt...anything else. There's no way I would be functioning as an employee so thank goodness I have some more leave time to get myself together before I have to worry about that. But...yeah. That's where I'm at.
That seemed like kind of a depressing start. But I don't feel like life sucks or anything. Quite the opposite! I would say it's more like amazing filled with love and chaos and complete insanity and fun and adorableness 80% of the time and then total meltdown everyone crying everyone hates everything the other 20%. I feel like I want to do a whole other post on my mental state but this much simpler one has already been like a week in the making, so don't hold your breath.
So, what are we up to?
Dalton: Not much to report! Learning, growing, playing. Amazing me every day with his genius level smarts (I guess it's possible I'm biased by love and he's actually just average but it seems amazing because I've never had a kid this age before). He melts my heart when I tell him he can come upstairs each day. He runs up screaming Remi's up, Remi's up and gives her hugs and kisses. He sings her twinkle twinkle little star when she cries. When he gets a treat or a sticker or anything special (like when he went to work with Eric and Eric gave him his own composition book), he immediately asks if there is one for Royce. He's like my coparent during the daytime and I love having him as my partner in crime. Honestly he's the more responsible one and is constantly reminding me not to forget stuff we need, checking if I strapped his brother and sister correctly into their carseats, basically running the show.
|His current favorite imagination game: baby class. They are the teachers.|
He's also rapidly approaching 4.5 and my theory is the half ages suck and he is once again proving me right. Everything is an argument, a refusal, a manipulation, or just straight out defiance. I try to tell myself over and over and OVER that a strong will is a good thing in life. It just might kill me trying to parent my 4yo right now. It doesn't help that he is really smart and I am really dumb right now (not being self-deprecating it's just fact that lack of sleep/putting all my energy into tiny humans/not working has reduced my intelligence for the moment). So he often will suggest a different way of doing something than I told him and it will actually be a better or more efficient plan. And then it's like....what, am I supposed to go with my own dumb plan just to show him I'm the boss? Except then it's the if I give him an inch he takes a mile situation and an hour later he's sobbing on the kitchen floor because I told him to eat his grated cheese on a plate instead of out of a bowl and I wouldn't budge on that one because the last freaking thing I need is an extra dish in my life right now.
|Good thing he's cute.|
Long story short, age 4.5 is fun, helpful, snuggly, adorable, sweet, hilarious, and makes me want to stab myself in the eye with a rusty fork but only sometimes.
|All proud of himself for matching all the upper and lower case letters (and his favorite color is pink).|
Delving DEEP into boring SAHM mommy diaries, he switched preschool classes this month. The cutoff for kindergarten in Maryland is 9/1, and his birthday is 9/23. So he will always be one of the oldest kids in his class. When he started preschool this year, he entered the 3 year old class, and turned 4 about a week after starting. His teachers recently suggested he move up to the four year old class for the remainder of the year. I was hesitant at first since he will always be the oldest and he just has to get used to it, but this is preschool and that class just happened to be a young 3 class, so by February most of them haven't turned 4 yet while Dalton is almost 4.5, and of course that's a huge difference at this age. So we moved him and he's loving his new class. Selfishly it's a pain in my ass, because it's 3 days a week vs. 2, and we had a really good play date schedule going. Now I feel like we can barely do anything. Preschool is only 2.5 hours, so you can't do much in that time period, and that's MWF, speech is Thursday, and I kind of signed up for this year off work to have FUN, not just constantly drive kids to various educational opportunities.
|Chick Fil A playgroup Valentine exchange!|
But school ends in mid May so then I can go back to a more relaxed schedule. I did warn you that this was an extreme SAHM first world pain paragraph.
Royce: He is so funny. I feel like going from age 2 to age 3 (he turns 3 in May) brings them from toddler to KID. Now he's this hilarious little boy with an actual personality. He's also the sweetest and is always taking care of his brother and sister as well. He idolizes Dalton and wants to be just like him. Every time we are at a park or playplace he has other parents gasping with fright at his American Ninja Warrior antics. He has a mind of his own (don't they all). He is extremely TWO and testing allllllll the boundaries.
|For example, instead of napping he put on baby rainbow leg warmers and did acrobatics.|
The big change is his communication book, or flip and talk. His SLP at Kennedy Krieger said recently "I know I'm a broken record but I'm just so impressed how well he is using it and remembering where words are!" in a way that felt genuine and not just the usual praise given to everyone. He uses it for humor, purposely answering things wrong and then giving the cutest mischievous grin. There have been a bunch of times where he's been able to use it to tell us something he never would have been able to without it. For example, telling us his spinach at dinner felt cold. Such a minor thing, right? But one that his impressive array of pointing, miming, and showing wouldn't have allowed him to communicate. It makes me so happy when those moments happen.
|I don't have a good picture so here he is playing with his friends.|
That said - I had a bit of rose colored glasses on about it. It's still a huge learning process and requires a ton of work for the whole family. The big thing is for us to model it, and when it's just me all day, trying to juggle a baby, two kids, and use a book to demonstrate how to communicate with it - it's hard. Unlike speaking, I have to be looking over his shoulder to see what he's saying. So if I'm in the middle of something, which I basically always am, his pointing to something doesn't really facilitate communication any better until I can stop and go look. And I think the biggest thing I didn't quite understand was that it's purpose is functional communication. It's not designed to have a conversation with. I see all these cute things other two year olds are saying and it breaks my heart a bit that I will never get to know what funny, silly thoughts Royce is having at age two. But we still have tons of funny and silly moments together and I have to just appreciate those.
|He wanted to touch the flag. So|
Just recently (like in the past week!), he's made massive improvements in his verbalization. He has four words he consistently says! Go, yes, car, and mama! This is just beyond incredible, I honestly haven't fully believed it yet. For 2.75 years of his life, he didn't have a single word. I'm doing my best to accept he's on his own path, but it can be hard to hear children much younger than him speaking, and kids his age using complete sentences. And it feels a little awkward sharing this milestone when people normally reach it so much earlier. But he has worked so, so hard to get here and to say we are proud of him is a huge understatement. He's also attempting speech so much more. Over the summer, he would very rarely even attempt to imitate the initial sound of a word. Now he tries to imitate us saying words all day long. Major progress!
|Taken at 4 months old for her calendar! Photo: Vince (grandpa)|
9 months old and the happiest little baby! Such a delight. I really love how babies don't have attitudes yet (and she never will, right?). We had several weeks where she would just sit happily and watch everything around her and coo adorably. Then she realized the world was just way too exciting and started army crawling which rapidly developed into regular crawling and now she's crawling and pulling up on everything! Instead of going to sleep at bedtime she would just stick her little head up, smile excitedly, and start crawling around. Is there anything cuter than a little crawling baby bum?
She loves food! Even when not eating, she loves sitting in her high chair while we sit around the table playing a game or play doh or whatever. Otherwise, she's happily crawling around and taking everything out of cabinets or drawers. We nurse on demand but she's definitely stretching out the time in between. She even took a few ounces from bottles recently!
|Typical. Always on the move. To eat things.|
Sleep is confusing. I'm still not checking the clock at night so all I know is she wakes and nurses several times. When we are home, she normally takes her morning nap in her crib and I put her in awake. If we are out, she naps in the car. In the afternoon it's more hit or miss. Sometimes she goes down in the minicrib in our bedroom awake, other times she struggles and I nurse her to sleep and lie with her (DARN WHAT A SACRIFICE). At night she acts like the crib is hot lava so we still bedshare and that's working well for us. I almost always nurse her to sleep at bedtime. She's doing pretty well on a 2/3/4 schedule, which means morning nap two hours after waking, afternoon nap three hours after waking from morning nap, and bedtime four hours after waking from the afternoon nap. Sounds confusing but I swear it's not when you are IN IT. One year from now I will have no clue what any of this means.
Me: Still training for the Baltimore Ten Miler! At this point I've forgotten half my workouts but I've met or exceeded my weekly goal of one weekday run, one other workout, and one weekend "long" run. I've included enough that I've been sore a lot, like a Body Pump class, a core bootcamp, lifting heavy weights with Eric (he always is pushing for high weights low reps on the rare occasions we exercise together).
I have that same feeling of my running improvements not being valid because they have happened so much slower than the insta world. Comparison is the thief of joy and all that. Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled with them, it just feels awkward to type them out to share with the internets. I see all these people doing fast, long runs before their baby is even out of the fourth trimester. And then over here - it's taken me 9 months to feel like I can comfortably run 4 miles without taking significant walk breaks.
|Except when I have to push this behemoth. Then it's alllllll the walk breaks.|
I guess I expected to bounce back a little faster. Right before getting pregnant, I completed an 8 week track series that focused on speedwork and I've never done anything like that. It was so hard, but I feel like my fitness improved quite a bit from it. I ran a 20 mile race and felt good just 3 days before finding out I was pregnant. And I don't mean this as a complaint AT ALL because I'm beyond grateful for that pregnancy that brought my beautiful daughter into this world! But it can be a tough pill to swallow that it truly means all those fitness gains are gone. Maybe that wouldn't be the case if I had worked out more during pregnancy but we will never know. Sometimes it just feels a tad unfair that Eric gets to keep his body intact through all this childbearing while I have to forgo all fitness, live with a csection shelf, giant feet, devil horn hair for like a year...you get the idea.
Anyway. Whining aside. Training is going well and I have seen fitness gains and now that all my childbearing is done, I can just keep improving slowly but surely.
I think I'm done word vomiting. For now.